I was talking to a young woman last week about her three year relationship. She started the conversation by acknowledging that she was absolutely in love with her boyfriend and would be devastated if they broke up. She then went on to explain that her boyfriend’s behavior suggested he was having an affair with a co-worker. She laid out extensive facts showing that her boyfriend was spending an alarming about of time with his co-worker and showing how his behavior toward her had changed since this alleged affair likely began. I asked her what she wanted to do and she looked at me like a deer in headlights.
“I don’t know,” she admitted tearfully. “I know I love him.”
If I had a penny for each time I’ve had this exact conversation with a woman I’d be rich or at least on my way to rich. So many times women see or sense the signs that tell them something is going on in their relationship but how they choose to re-act to that information either makes the situation better or worse. We all experience betrayal at some point in our lives. What makes us who we are of course is how we choose to respond to that betrayal.
Before you accuse your man of cheating, decide what you want the end result of the relationship to be. If you know that deep down you don’t want the relationship to end, look for ways to have a conversation that will lead to both of you moving forward. If you are the type of woman that feels cheating is an unforgivable offense and you have no option besides leaving then prepare yourself to do that. As a woman I believe it’s important to know what you want the end result to be so that you can confront the situation in a way that is conducive to giving you that desired result.
Accusing a man of cheating and not having a plan leaves the door open for him to flip the script on you and play on your emotions. It also leaves you open to say something you may not be able to take back based in hurt and temporary anger. Some would suggest the cheater is the only one who needs to worry about what to say after an affair is discovered but I disagree. If you are looking to salvage your relationship you need to handle the infraction carefully. Here are four facts to consider before you confront your significant other.
Do you have undeniable proof that he is cheating?
If you don’t have proof that would stand up in a court of law that your man is stepping out on you, it’s probably best to wait until you do. If your accusations are wrong you’ve not only started an unnecessary argument, but you’ve also alerted him to the fact that you don’t trust him. Relationships are doomed without trust so you’ve involuntarily started the breakdown of the relationship.
Have you considered how you will feel if the outcome is the worst case scenario?
Many times women ask questions and poke for information not considering how hurt they will be if they have to hear or God forbid see the unthinkable. If you aren’t emotionally prepared to handle seeing or hearing the ugly truth it may be best to wait until you are stronger to approach him.
Do you have a plan A and plan B?
Make sure before you approach him with your information you’ve already thought out what you want your end result to be. Getting into a discussion without knowing upfront what you will and wont accept leaves you open for the situation to be flipped on you. You should have a plan A and plan B in place before you approach him.
Do you have a support system in place to have your back after the conversation?
Nothing is fair in love and war and more than likely however the conversation goes you will be left with a sense of sadness. If you did your due diligence and have proof that your man is cheating whether you choose to stay or leave, more than likely you will need the support of a responsible and objective friend or family member to support you. Make sure that you have someone that can support you in your decision whether it includes staying or leaving.
Finding out that your significant other is stepping out can be traumatic. Taking your time in how you approach the situation is a much better option than jumping in and being unprepared to deal with the hurt and or resolution.
Take your time, be prepared and good luck sister!